When’s the last time you read a health or weight loss article saying butter, of all foods, is the ultimate healthy weight loss food.
Butter, the food that is associated with clogged arteries, heart disease, high cholesterol, and blubber.
That’s what margarine does...
*Side note: I initially set out to make this 9 Reasons Why You Stay Away from Margarine, but I’m assuming you know you shouldn’t even smell margarine, so I went a more “positive” route…
Most registered dieticians would strongly suggest you stay away from fats, especially saturated fats, like butter.
Unfortunately for them, they were taught in a school that still follows conventional wisdom, and is funded by companies that make margarine.
I was taught as those schools too, BUT I also self-taught myself WHY these concepts are out-dated and in that process stumbled upon 9 beautiful reasons why butter is undeniably a health food…a “superfood” of sorts.
The 9 Health Benefits of Butter
1. Butter is an excellent source of vitamins
Let’s ease on into the awesomeness of butter with a short (but beneficial) list of vitamins in butter…
Vitamin A – necessary for optimal health of the thyroid and adrenal glands, both of which play a role in maintaining the proper functioning of the heart and cardiovascular system. High quality butter is one of the most easily absorbable sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin D – essential for the absorption of Calcium. Of course, you should get most of your Vitamin D from consistent sunlight, however because of butter’s high fat content (yes that’s a good thing and more on that later) vitamin D tends to be prevalent
Vitamin E – Vitamin E is a powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant that helps protect cell membranes against damage caused by free radicals and prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. We don’t have many E deficiencies these days, but the more Vitamin E you consume the lower amount of free radicals you have (so butter is anti-aging!)
Vitamin K2 – powerful effects on health, such as or bone, cardiovascular, skin, brain, and now prostate health (which women don’t need to worry other than the fact you have MEN in your life, hello!) It is intimately involved in calcium metabolism and a low intake has been associated with many serious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis.
2.) Butter is high in Conjulated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
In a nutshell, CLA helps you store muscle, instead of fat…have I sold you already?
Many studies have shown significant improvements seen in both reducing body fat and increasing lean body mass.
Previous studies have shown that CLA reduces body fat while preserving muscle tissue, and may also increase your metabolic rate.
CLA protects against cancer? In a number of studies, conjugated linoleic acid, inhibited mammary tumorigenesis.
Since CLA cannot be manufactured in the human body, you must get it from your diet by consuming high-quality dietary sources such as grass-fed butter.
3.) Butter is high in saturated fatty acids (SFAs)
You may thinking, “but I thought we were supposed to stay away from saturated fats?”
This is a MYTH!
Saturated fats protect your cells, unlike polyunsaturated fats which cause cellular destruction because they are very unstable.
SFAs are the most stable fat, which is why butter is an excellent cooking fat.
Butter provides short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which support immune function, boost metabolism and have anti-microbial properties; that is, they fight against pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract.
Butter also provides the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats.
Arachidonic acid in butter is important for brain function, skin health and prostaglandin balance.
4.) Butter is high in antioxidants
Antioxidants are chemicals that block the aging effects of free radicals, which causes Oxidative Stress, which is the consistent factor in virtually all diseases.
Butter contains high levels of carotene, an unusual and essential nutrient.
Carotene contributes to our health in two ways, either turning into antioxidants, or converting into vitamin A.
In terms of antioxidants, about 60% of carotene taken in by the body is changed into these disease-fighting, compounds in the body.
Since vitamin A is fat-soluble, it can benefit those parts of the body that have fat-soluble membranes, like the skin, eyes, mouth, throat, as well as the urinary and digestive tracts.
Other major antioxidants in butter are: cholesterol, Vitamins E and A.
5.) Butter is an excellent source of minerals
Butter contains trace minerals like manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium, a powerful antioxidant.
Selenium is essential for the conversion of T4 to T3, or inactive thyroid hormone to active thyroid hormone, what keeps your metabolism sky high all day.
6.) Butter has the Wulzen Factor
The Wulzen factor also known as the “anti-stiffness factor,” is hormone-like substance that prevents arthritis and joint stiffness, ensuring that calcium in your body is put into your bones rather than your joints and other tissues.
Consuming MCT oils, coconut oil, and raw dairy products could have the same effect as butter oils, Wulzen factor.
*The Wulzen factor is present only in raw butter and cream; it is destroyed by pasteurization
7.) Butter is a great source of cholesterol
Cholesterol is needed for healthy cellular function. It also plays a part in brain and nervous system development.
Cholesterol is also a very potent antioxidant, which is the precursor to major protective steroid hormones like progesterone and pregnenolone.
Unfortunately, many Dr’s are attempting to not only lower cholesterol levels (which is a symptom), but they also recommend avoiding foods high in cholesterol, which can be helpful to heart diseases.
Butter also contains lecithin, which is essential for cholesterol metabolism (turning cholesterol into hormones).
8.) Butter is a great digestive aid
Believe it or not, butter contains compounds that protect the stomach from gastrointestinal infections. These fatty acids are called glycospingolipids.
If you’re thinking about Googling “glycospingolipids” why don’t you also Google, “butyric acid”, because that’s another fatty acids prevalent in butter that has strong anti-fungal properties.
People with digestive disorders often suffer from yeast overgrowth (Candida), parasites, and other viruses. Anti-microbial fatty acids (i.e. saturated fats) help keep these nasty bugs away.
To keep it simple, butter helps heal the lining of the gut and intestines, keeping your digestive system happy and healthy.
9.) Butter makes everything taste better
I know, I know…I don’t want you to feel cheated with my 9th reason, but I felt the need to add this one, because health should be a goal in ALL areas of life, including your cooking and eating satisfaction.
Maybe you’ve been avoiding butter and NOW you decided to give it another shot, how awesome is that for your soul?
This article is a great example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you read (including me), although I’ve done my due diligence in making sure butter is absolutely essential for human health.
You only live once with one body.
Make sure you live a happy life, full of butter and (gluten-free) biscuits!
A Butter-Buying Tip: The best and healthiest butter is raw butter from grass-fed cows, preferably organic.
Next is pasteurized butter from grass-fed cows (Kerrygold), followed by regular conventional pasteurized butter from supermarkets.
Butter is better than margarine not matter what!
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